‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Writers On Kylo Ren’s Unspeakable Scene
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015 at 3:55 pm
Okay, now that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is already out in theaters, and has crushed nearly every box office record, we have been doing some post-release coverage of the film. We also saw that Universal graciously congratulated Disney and Lucasfilm for beating Jurassic World‘s record for the domestic box office weekend opening title. But it still goes without saying that if you haven’t seen the film yet, there will be SPOILERS in this report. So I suggest you turn back now if you haven’t seen the movie yet.
Ok, so you get that? SPOILERS ARE COMING…..
Ok, for those of you who have seen The Force Awakens, you know there is a crucial scene that involves two generations of characters, with one of them being Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). In it, we see that he does something so unspeakable, it will change the course of the Star Wars franchise as we know it. Now that the film is already out, co-screenwriters J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, and Michael Arndt are talking about that scene.
Again, SPOILERS will follow. See below for what they had to say, and how it would help shape the upcoming sequels.
At this point you must have already seen the film, or just not care about spoilers, in any case this is your final warning.
Setting up Kylo Ren as a dangerous villain is a tremendous (and possibly even daunting) task. Though he is a Vader-obsessed Knight, and as we found out, the son of Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), Abrams, Kasdan, and Arndt had to have Kylo aka Ben Solo do something so evil that fans will look at him as they did previous villains of the Star Wars franchise. Here’s what Abrams said at a post-screening Q&A for The Force Awakens at the Writers Guild of America earlier this weekend:
“Star Wars had the greatest villain in cinema history. So, how you bring a new villain into that world is a very tricky thing. We knew we needed to do something f””king bold. The only reason why Kylo Ren has any hope of being a worthy successor is because we lose one of the most beloved characters.”
Killing off Han Solo certainly qualifies as bold. As we see, Han desperately tried to bring back his, Ben, to his mother, Leia, in hopes of also eventually bringing him back to the Light Side. At one point, it looked like the father and son made a connection. But as the StarKiller Base drained the final bits of energy from the Sun, the lights go dim, and a red glow radiates Ben’s face, signifying that Ben could not be brought back to the light. Before you know it, Ben ignites his crossguard lightsaber right through Han’s chest, killing his father.
“Long before we had this title, the idea of The Force Awakens was that this would become the evolution of not just a hero, but a villain. And not a villain who was the finished, ready-made villain, but someone who was in process.”
Again, in the film we see that Kylo Ren, though a powerful Knight who has knowledge of the Force, isn’t fully trained yet, and has not achieved the strength of his grandfather and role model, Darth Vader. He is even defeated by Rey, who has had no prior training in the Force, which had clearly been dormant within her.
Arndt, who had worked on early drafts of the script, revealed that Kylo Ren was actually someone who started off “merely as a way to separate the heroes we remember from the original trilogy.”
“In my early drafts, my thinking was we had to bridge the end of Return of the Jedi to what happens in this movie, and we didn’t want everybody to start off all together. We wanted them to be spread all throughout the galaxy.”
Then Arndt revealed the moment Star Wars fans will be talking about for a very long time.
“I had thought Han’s story and Leia’s story was just about them coming back together. At the end of the movie they would have reconciled and gotten over their differences. And you would have said, “˜Okay, bad stuff happened, but at least they’re back together again. J.J. rightly asked, “˜What is Han doing in this movie?’ If we’re not going to have something important and irreversible happen to him, then he kind of feels like luggage. He feels like this great, sexy piece of luggage you have in your movie. But he’s not really evolving. He’s not really pushing the story forward.”
EW has more on the Q&A portion of the screening that was held earlier this weekend, including what it was like to shoot the scene between Kylo Ren and Han Solo.